Wife, Mother and "Me"

 
Kcakesmash

“I am not afraid of becoming a mother.  I accept this new, challenging role as a beautiful privilege that a part of me has been waiting my whole life to reach.  This very moment is where I am meant to be and I whole-heartedly, lovingly look forward to the day I can see my baby’s face for the first time.  What I am afraid of… is my ability to be a fulfilled and happy person myself.  I don’t question my ability to give my all to my marriage and baby but I am afraid that my being may get lost in the tornado that is life and the parts of me that still need a certain kind of fulfillment and love will get swallowed and forgotten.”       

–April 3, 2016

 

I recently came across the above writing as I dug through old files and photos to edit.  I have only a fuzzy memory of writing it, only about a month before I gave birth.  But there it is, exactly as I left it a little over a year ago.  I had every intention of spending those 9 months sharing my heart and celebrating the experience through my writing but as I’ve mentioned before, writer’s block reared its ugly head.  But through reading it's interesting to experience my small attempt at expressing my honest thoughts during that time and revisit my state of mind.

 

The truth is, I have longed to reclaim my sense of self since Kaia’s birth and I have struggled with my identity.  That may sound incredibly sad, negative and contradictory to how I have shared my motherhood experience so far and considering the way I have openly celebrated it.  But it isn't representative of the love I have for my new role.  I am so incredibly grateful for this experience and I know I am so fortunate.  But that’s the thing about gratitude, it means we whole-heartedly acknowledge we have something wonderful to appreciate but it doesn’t take away the discomfort.  Being pregnant across the country from my family and giving birth without my own mom nearby was extremely difficult and I struggled emotionally every day.  I was uncomfortable with beginning our journey to our new life on this little island when Kaia was only 3 1/2 months old but had no way of delaying it.  Trying to unpack our entire lives in a new home while caring for a newborn was overwhelming and we still aren’t finished almost a year later.  Dealing with the ups and downs, the triumphs and failures while learning how to be a mother all on my own, multiple time zones away from anything familiar with a husband whose job is extremely demanding has been exhausting to say the least.  It’s all the complete opposite of what I grew up believing marriage, family life and raising my children would be like.  And I was forced to change my expectations of how my own needs are met in the process.  They say it takes a village, but I've had to accept that I was so far from having that.  My motherhood experience has been wonderful and so gratifying, but also incredibly lonely.  This new, helpless little person needed so much and I want to give her all of me and more, but I started feeling like I was losing myself.  During my dark moments I’ve found myself mourning my “old” self; craving freedom I once had, missing my free-spirited adventures, fearing that as time goes on, because of being so far from support and little time to myself, my identity as a mother will continue to take over I will no longer be “Christine the human being” and "Christine the mom" will be all that is left.  I've struggled with the guilt of these feelings, because I love Kaia with all my heart and cannot imagine my life without her.  But to be a good mom it's become so clear that we can't neglect ourselves.  None of us wants to expose this unpretty side of ourselves, but it is important to be honest.  It's the only way we can work towards healing.  Mom title or not I am still human, after all.

 

I always believed pregnancy and motherhood would naturally serve as a new form of creative inspiration, and it really has.  Not a day goes by that I don’t feel some sort of spark from various moments I share with my beautiful little Kaia each day.  I absolutely love being with her every day and I would not trade it for anything in the world.  While my role as a mother is demanding and takes priority over many other things in this stage of life, it does not define me as a person.  I must embrace this new chapter and intertwine my worlds but I am still "Christine the human being" with my own interests, hobbies and passions.  I'm still that free spirited girl that wants to get lost in crazy adventures.  I need to nurture all the other layers of myself that make me who I am and spend time doing things that make me happy.  I need to lose myself in my creativity again.  It's important that I still work towards accomplishing my own goals and interests beyond the duties of wife and mother.  And extremely important that I take care of my own heart however I can, even in the smallest of ways, so I can continue to work towards being the best wife, mother and "me" I can be.  I still need to just be me, too.  So here I am, in an effort to keep pushing forward, I'm spilling the guts of my heart, squeezing all I can into the few hours I have to myself and sacrificing precious sleep. 

 

There was no way to prepare for the way motherhood would enrich my life and heighten my senses.  An immeasurable amount of joy and heartache.  Embracing it all is the only way for the heart to expand and reach new depths.  And only in motherhood can a cocktail of such contradicting emotions coexist in harmony, so painfully and beautifully.  I suppose that’s what makes the journey so unique and amazing, the endless roller coaster ride.

Women Who Inspire

kayko
                                        Kayko Tamaki  :   Christine Aguiling Artistry

                                        Kayko Tamaki : Christine Aguiling Artistry

Let me start by saying I think women are the most beautiful, magical creatures on the planet.  From the curve of the body to the flow of the hair, the female body is an art form in itself and no two are alike.  Each individual amazing in their own way.  Personal opinions and moral beliefs aside, I believe our bodies, head to toe, should be admired and embraced and we shouldn’t be ashamed of who we are. 

 

Like any woman, I am extremely flattered when I feel my looks are appreciated.  But my life hasn't been any easier because of being considered attractive.  Things haven’t just fallen in my lap simply because of someone liking the way I look.  Society has put into place preconceived notions, stereotypes, about what type of person a "beautiful" human is.  And as a result there were different expectations I felt I should fight to meet.  It has long been my commitment to love and be proud of my own body, to fight for my right to express myself the way I choose, while at the same time think beyond my looks and strive to be a quality human being.  A lifetime of blood, sweat and tears, consistency, loyalty, commitment, sacrifice, hard work is what it’s taken to get to where I am today.  I have had my share of heartache and failure as well as success.  My own personal insecurities.  And I still have so much to learn, endless growing to do.  No different than anyone else.  Building and nurturing relationships, compassion, forgiveness, determination, self-acceptance and ultimately, love, has been the core of who I am and how I get things done in life.  With that said, nothing inspires me more than women who is beautiful on the outside, but is also intelligent, ambitious, unafraid to be different and follows her heart in pursuit of her own personal life journey.  Our generation is more overwhelmed than ever with pressure to be the vision of perfection and it would be so easy in this day and age to pursue attention and gratification from simply being attractive.  But the woman who’s a risk taker, unconventional thinker, dreamer, go-getter… that’s what inspires me.

 

Living abroad gave me a chance to quiet the noise that existed in my every day life and really focus on what my motivations were and who to look toward for inspiration.  I found myself identifying with other women, both distant friends and strangers alike, and finding inspiration in not only their striking beauty, but also their commitment to sharing their life authentically through their passions.  They touched a special place in my heart and I felt so moved, quietly wishing to sit and have a cup of coffee with them and talk about life.  I wanted to embrace them and say you are simply amazing.  Not because I believed them to be something I wasn't, but because they inspired me to be a better version of myself.  And during my personal ups and downs in solitude, I looked towards these people for hope, inspiration.  The truth I think we all struggle to accept is that no one is perfect.  We want to believe that there are people out who's lives are just amazing for them every single day.  Like they’ve figured out something the rest of us haven’t.  But that’s simply not true.  It is my belief that we as women have the power to do amazing things when we work together.  We should not only be unafraid to love and appreciate ourselves but also each other.  I'm a firm believer in reaching out and letting another woman know I think she is absolutely breathtaking and an awesome person.  There is so much hate already in the world; instead of shaming each other based on our own insecurities it is my wish that we all work to embrace our differences, root for others doing amazing things and let that be a personal inspiration to want more for ourselves. 

 

In an effort to celebrate and give thanks to all the inspirational women out there, I will be sharing the awe-inspiring friends I have encountered in my life process in a new makeup and photo series.  I am so grateful for what they have done for me as not only my canvases, but also in friendship and I am thankful for their patience as I am still growing and learning myself.  I hope share my art with you through them and to give back to them by sharing a piece of their hearts.  They all have moved and inspired me in ways I hope to express to you all.  Every single one is an imperfect human.  Complete with flaws, imperfections, and insecurities.  What makes them shine isn’t just their outer beauty, but they are strong, ambitious, unique and fearless, they've persevered; looking towards exploring themselves and world beyond their roots and passionately sharing their hearts with humility and honesty.  They are all doing incredible things and contributing to our world.  To me, there isn’t anything more beautiful than that.  

“Women who inspire.”

 

Stay tuned. <3